The Importance of a Good Coffee Machine in the Working Place

Having a good workplace goes beyond working in a clean and sterile environment. In today’s world, it’s simply not enough to have a stack of cubicles in a room and call it an office. The modern employer knows that the key to productivity and success is keeping their employee happy and treating them like human beings, not just closing them off from each other and expecting results.

This is the main reason modern offices have such elaborate designs and often look very quirky. You don’t need to be eccentric to make your employees happy, though. A few key components are enough to make them love going to work and look forward to each new day in the office. One of those components is the coffee machine.

Though it seems simple enough, a good coffee machine has the power to transform the entire office attitude and make your employees much brighter. Such a common piece of equipment will be the light in your workers’ days as it will give them an energy and motivation boost when they most need it.

1. It keeps things moving

Things at work seem to be running smoothly, and then everything just stops. People run into a problem they can’t solve only to spend the rest of the day trying to figure it out. The more they rack their brain, the further away the answer seems to be. When working on something complex and important, it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut and lose yourself in your own brain. The path to a solution seems doesn’t seem like it exists.

In some cases, it’s enough to get a fresh pair of eyes on the issue and find the solution together. What do you do in the cases where the whole office is exhausted and looking for the same way out as you? This is especially an issue when we’re talking about team projects. When the whole team is down, the whole project will be too.

Sometimes the project or assignment can be so complex that it takes days to figure it out. Though, most times it takes days just because people are reluctant to give up. They don’t realize that taking a rest would help them reach the solution, as they feel useless and unproductive when they’re not working towards a solution.

This is where the coffee machine comes in. It could very well be the thing that saves your team from countless unproductive hours in the office. Coffee has the power to reset our brains and make them start working again. When you’re too exhausted to think, you need something to do it for you. A fresh cup of coffee will be exactly what you need.

Making someone do a coffee run just feels like wasting more time, but the office coffee machine will provide what everyone needs in heartbeat. If you opt for the models which can serve more people at once, the whole team can have their favourite cup of coffee in front of them at the same time. They’ll be able to get straight back to work with a rewired brain and find a solution much more quickly.

2. It gives them something in common

Offices, especially big ones, are full of very different people. This is something very normal, as not all the same personalities will ever work in the same office. It’s also a good thing because it’s ground for more creativity and productivity. People solve problems more easily and they finish projects more quickly when they look at all the different perspectives of one issue. That’s only possible with a diverse and competent team.

Though that all may sound fine and dandy, it can create a very cold and professional office. No one will know how to connect to and talk to someone else when it seems like they’ve got nothing in common. Instead of a community, your office becomes just a place where people can’t wait to get out of.

This can also contribute to feelings of isolation and make individuals feel uncomfortable while at work. In the long run, all this does is put a damper on productivity and make employees miserable. To avoid such an outcome, you’ll need to give them something in common.

With all those different personalities present, it can be very hard figuring out what exactly they all have in common. That is, it’s very hard until you realize that our society basically runs on coffee. There are virtually no people who don’t drink coffee on a daily basis, meaning everyone will have something in common.

By adding a coffee machine, you’re giving people a conversation opener. The coffee machine chats will replace the old-timey water cooler chats and encourage communication and socialization in the workplace. The conversation may start by one employee asking another how they take their coffee, only to transform into something more meaningful and friendly. The coffee machine truly is the first step to making life-long friends.

3. It gives them an energy boost

Flickering levels of energy are always the biggest danger in the workplace. When someone is physically exhausted, it gets a lot harder to think and focus on work. Whether the employee didn’t have a good night’s sleep or they’re missing their afternoon nap- the effects are the same. To make your employees more alert, you need to give them an energy source.

Now, though the idea of nap quarters in the office sounds appealing, it’s very inconvenient and inconceivable. Thankfully, there’s another energy source you can provide for your employees: the coffee machine. 

Whether they use it on their lunch break, when they first get in, or anywhere in between, you’ll be sure it’s doing its job exceptionally well. Coffee is like a reset switch for the body. As soon as we drink coffee, we feel more refreshed and ready to get back to work.

We don’t feel physically tired anymore but are instead eager to get on with our days. The body is once again able to follow the ambitiousness of the brain and help us reach success. So, by pushing the body forward, it actually contributes to the increase in productivity employers are always after.

For some, the cup or two of coffee that they have in the office is enough to get them to the end of the day. That cup is the reason they make their deadlines and are able to go home not feeling exhausted. The coffee allows them to power through another hard day and come out a winner.

4. It gives them something to look forward to

Being stuck in the office all day isn’t exactly everyone’s idea of fun. Most people lose motivation in the middle of the day because they’re simply overwhelmed by the amount of work they need to do and have already done. The only thing they have to look forward to is their breaks at this point. When there’s nothing to do in the break room, the employee will sit mindlessly for their lunch over of five-minute break and sink into tiredness even more.

This isn’t a very nice way to relax your brain. You’ve been staring at the screen for the whole day and now you’re just wallowing in exhaustion. All you want at that moment is to rest your head either by watching something stupid on TV or going directly to bed. That’s the exact opposite attitude of what you want in the workplace and is a sure way of creating zombies.

To avoid this, you have to give your people something to look forward to. Having a coffee machine changes the game entirely. This gives your employees something nice to look forward to on their breaks. It’s crucial to have a coffee machine which can support the needs of your staff, though. You want to provide good service for each member of the team and keep them all on their toes throughout the day.

That’s why it’s not a bad idea to look at high-shelf firms for quality espresso coffee machine, as these firms offer exactly what you need- good service and fine-tasting coffee with a press of a button. A healthy break for your employee suddenly isn’t so far away. They get to take 10 minutes to just collect their thoughts and get their brain running again. Zombie apocalypse- successfully avoided!

5. It spices up the break room

The design of the break room can always use an update. Let’s face it, most break rooms aren’t very pretty or nice. They’re packed with seating furniture or only have one table and a few chairs. The kitchen equipment is mediocre at best, and the fridge always makes that weird sound. This isn’t really an environment you want to spend all of your breaks in.

You don’t have to change the entire design and spend a lot of dough on a makeover, though. Start adding new things to spice up the place one by one. The first item on the agenda will be the coffee machine.

Professional coffee machines for offices are usually designed in such a way that they don’t take up a lot of counter space, making them perfect for every break room. As well as that, they usually have an interesting and colourful design that can light up the whole area.

Your break room suddenly won’t seem so drab and boring when it’s got one hell of a coffee machine as its centrepiece.

Conclusion

The human race takes a lot of things for granted and the coffee machine is one of them. Coffee is the centre of our culture, regardless of where you come from. It’s an excuse to see the people you love or ask someone out, an opportunity to meet new people, and a way to remind yourself that you’re not alone in this world.

On a more personal level, coffee wakes up all our senses, makes us more awake, and gives us the confidence and motivation to tackle every challenge laid in front of us. Once you put in the coffee machine, you won’t be able to recognize your staff. It really will be the thing to tie the whole place together and give it meaning.

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Workplace Injury: How to Be Prepared

Image Source: Pixabay

Your boss asks you to help move a few boxes. Before you even think about it, you bend over at the waist to pick up the load and feel a severe stabbing pain in your back that takes your breath away. You slowly stand up straight, but all you see are stars circling your head like in the cartoons. Unfortunately, this is an all-too-often occurrence in many offices across the country, and it can affect the work performance of any employee. You might not even realize that this is a workplace injury and you have the right to healthcare and possibly compensation if this would ever happen to you. 

 

Many people think that workplace injuries only happen at construction sites or in factories. However, many of the most common workplace injuries, such as sprains, strains, and lacerations can happen just about anywhere. Here are the essentials you need to know to keep yourself and your workplace safe. 

Understanding Workplace Injuries

According to the National Safety Council, one person is injured on the job every seven seconds in the U.S. That means that throughout one year, there are 4.5 million injuries. These injuries range from “treat and street” issues where you might be seen in a clinic or emergency room and then sent home to severe life-altering injuries and illnesses or even death. 

 

Injuries that occur the most frequently don’t cause severe damage; in fact, many of them don’t even cause visible problems. The top three workplace injuries that cause workers to miss days from work are those that include overexertion, such as lifting a box that’s too heavy, contact with an object or equipment, and slips, trips, and falls. Other common occurrences that can take you out of commission include poor body mechanics and environmental hazards such as wet floors or icy sidewalks.

Prevention is Key

While you don’t have to be an occupational health and safety specialist to spot an unsafe situation, working with one to create safety plans is never a bad idea. Since the top injuries are common occurrences, most of them can be prevented by following a few simple safety tips. Check out these three ways to keep yourself and coworkers safe at work:

Be Aware

Seeing and reporting trip hazards like cords across a walkway or a spill in the cafeteria doesn’t take any particular skill. If you notice anything in your office that might be a safety issue, fix it if you can. If it’s a more significant issue, such as clutter blocking a fire exit or an overflowing toilet, be sure to report it to your supervisor or internal safety committee, if you have one. 

Protect Your Back

Back injuries are common, and once you have an injury, your risk of re-injury increases three to five times. The good news about back injuries is that most of them are preventable. Use these lifting and back injury tips if you need to lift a box or other heavy object around the office:

 

  • Stretch before lifting heavy objects.
  • Make sure you’re wearing safe, closed-toe shoes with good traction when lifting.
  • Use a dolly or pushcart if carrying the object a long distance.
  • Lift with your legs, not your back.
  • Divide large loads into smaller ones, if possible.
  • Carry the object as close to your body as you can. 

Reduce Workplace Stress

Let’s face it: work is stressful. When you start feeling burned out at work, you might struggle to concentrate or rush through tasks, both of which can increase your risk of injuries. 

 

If you need to decrease your stress levels at work, try at least one of these four strategies:

  • Choose healthy foods so that you get the nutrition you need. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, like nicotine.
  • Aim for eight hours of sleep every night.
  • Plan regular breaks throughout the workday and try to get the most important tasks done before lunch.
  • Live a happy life by adopting a few holistic ways to live, such as regular trips to the chiropractor or massage therapist and aromatherapy.

What to Do if You Get Hurt

Even if you do all of the right things to create balance in a world full of movement — sometimes accidents just happen. If you’re injured at work, you should always report the accident immediately. What might feel like a minor ache or pain today could make it difficult to get out of bed tomorrow. Many states only allow injuries to be reported within a specific time frame for you to receive workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. This is why notifying your supervisor promptly is critical.

 

You might live in a state that requires accident reports be in writing. While some states allow reports to be verbal, it’s always best to write out what happened and turn it into your supervisor. Almost all employers are required by law to have workers compensation insurance. If your injury is significant and you have to miss work, be sure to talk to your employer about their worker’s compensation policy and seek legal counsel if they tell you that they don’t have one. 

 

If you’re hurt at work, any medical treatment you need should be covered by your employer’s policy. You might also be entitled to lost wages if you have to miss work for an extended period. However, every state is a bit different, so you’ll need to check with your employer to be certain. To make sure that you’re always covered regardless of the causes of an injury or illness, it’s a good idea to consider long-term or short-term disability insurance, too. 

Keeping Safe

Being hurt is never fun. However, by implementing these simple workplace safety tips and tricks in your office, you and your co-workers will be safe and prepared. And in the unfortunate event that you are injured at work, know that you have options to ensure that the company you work will cover you. 

The Role of AI in Human Resources

Author: Kim Coombs, Talent Director, EMEA at Riverbed Technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is improving human resources (HR), streamlining processes and empowering employees to perform better. Employee data that was once banished to the archives can now be combined with the huge volume of data running through a business’ network to identify talent gaps, learning and development initiatives and provide recommendations to HR professionals and managers.

It is becoming clear that the future success of businesses will be defined by how well they are able to optimise the combination of human and automated work.

There have been some controversial headlines surrounding automation in the workplace and earlier this year, the World Economic Forum projected that the demand for ‘unique’ human skills will grow. While its research suggests 75 million current jobs will be displaced as artificial intelligence takes over more routine aspects of work, 133 million new jobs will be created. This report concludes that skills in both emotional intelligence and technical intelligence – like technology design and programming – will be essential for the future workforce.

HR needs to help employees strengthen their core skills and capabilities through targeted training or development initiatives. On top of this, they are responsible for proactive candidate selection as part of the recruitment process, which involves an excessive amount of time, resource and admin. AI is opening up new opportunities to enhance the human experience and is expanding the remit of the HR function within a business. It is important for business leaders to consider the introduction of AI-led infrastructure as an opportunity to improve existing, outdated, and sometimes archaic processes and message the benefits of these changes down to their managers and employees.

Kim Coombs photo1
Kim Coombs, Talent Director, EMEA at Riverbed Technology

The human experience

With the introduction of AI, businesses are positioned better than ever to improve their employees’ human experience. In the modern enterprise, AI is already beginning to streamline admin heavy tasks to free up time for employees to focus on adding value to the broader business.

For example, team leaders and middle management are often required to make the same decisions over and over again, including approving time off requests, approving timecard exceptions and scheduling staff. If you speak to managers performing these tasks, you will often find their perspective is the same: they are repetitive, time-consuming, and while relevant, deliver little value. These are precisely the tasks that AI can tackle first —  the routine, daily, difficult processes that will free up the manager to handle more strategic management matters.

With less time spent on the high touch, low value tasks, managers can be far more aligned with their employees’ needs, boosting employee wellbeing and increasing staff retention. In addition to the general alleviation of admin, AI is also making huge strides in the realms of learning and development.

 

Training talent

There is no “one size fits all” approach to learning and development. As the war on talent grows ever more competitive, organisations that can provide their employees tailored opportunities to grow will set themselves apart. Traditionally doing this has involved significant manual workforce auditing and data analysis before programmes can be put in place. However, with the latest developments in predictive and prescriptive analytics, this heavy lifting no longer falls within the remit of the HR team.

AI has the power to monitor business performance and create bespoke suggestions around talent management and recruitment. This technology feeds off data so unfortunately this is redundant if HR does not engage with the technology and embed AI into the workforce’s natural workflow. The more HR engages with the technology and nourishes it with use cases; the more mature the artificial decision making will become. Supporting use on this scale requires a significant cultural shift. Once this shift occurs, HR can begin to embrace more creative and engaging ways to implement learning and development, with actionable data points already provided for them.

 

Combined intelligence

It will be a combination of human and artificial intelligence that will ultimately drive success for the future enterprise. For an AI implementation to demonstrate its full worth, businesses need to first fully embrace digital change in every aspect of their business. Any system is only as fast as its slowest link, and the goal of using AI to free up managers to solve more substantial organisational challenges will never be achieved if manual, high-touch processes and policies remain.

Staff must be onboarded and reskilled effectively. The IT infrastructure should be able to support higher volumes of data, and senior management needs to ensure digital transformation initiatives are given adequate funding and support.

As AI alleviates admin heavy tasks, roles and responsibilities will begin to shift, enabling the workforce to add a significant layer of additional value to their business. More importantly, workers will be able to focus on tasks that are far more engaging and fulfilling. This can only be achieved if HR teams begin to adopt this technology and implement new processes to support AI adoption in the wider business. The winner in all of this will ultimately prove to be the human experience.

About Workers’ Compensation for HR Administrators

How well do you know the facts about workers’ compensation? Regardless of your business, there is always the chance that a worker can get hurt on the job. If they are, you want to be sure that your company is prepared to proceed appropriately.

Workers’ compensation helps employers and employees alike, so all human resource administrators should brush up on state regulations and know how to tackle a workplace incident. Here is a workers’ comp refresher for those new to HR.

What Employers Need to Know

In general, workers’ compensation is a program meant to protect employees and employers alike when a worker is involved in an accident that results in harm or prevents them from working in the future. The first responsibility of the employer is to have workers’ comp insurance, which is required by most states for a majority of companies, with the usual exception of independent contractors. This type of insurance is instrumental in preventing lawsuits in civil court. 

To prevent a claim from getting to that point, workers’ compensation insurance provides wage and medical benefits based on the requirements of the state in which they work. The insurance also pays death benefits to the families of employees who die on the job. However, there are circumstances that insurance doesn’t cover including intentionally sustained injuries, injuries while intoxicated, and emotional harm.

If an employee is injured on the job, it is important to remember that they cannot be denied medical care. Also, if there is a legitimate claim, then the employer must bring the employee back once they are ready to return to work. Most importantly, a company should not hold any grudge or retaliate against an employee for filing a claim. It is their right to get the help they need, and failure to comply could result in a lawsuit.

Employee Responsibilities and Claims

When an employee gets hurt on the job, they have a responsibility to report the injury immediately to your HR department. HR will then take a detailed report of the incident, including the date and time, the type of injury, and where it happened. If it is an emergency, the employee should be brought to the hospital. For less threatening injuries, they should consult a doctor. In any case, a medical report is needed.

HR is responsible for providing all necessary forms to the employee, including insurance forms and information about their rights, as well as what happens when they are ready to return to work. A claim is then filed with the insurance carrier, and it is there that the claim is either approved or denied. If it is approved, the employee will get an offer or settlement for their damages. If it is denied, then the employee can appeal.

During this time, the company must keep the job open for the potential return of the worker. If the employee cannot return to work due to disability, then the insurance company may continue paying benefits for an undetermined amount of time. All records of the claim must be filed by the employer and kept for a pre-set amount of time as determined by your state laws, which is usually a number of years.

How to Prevent Workers’ Comp Claims

It is very important for employers to not take a workers’ comp claim personally or hold it against the employee. Not only is it the law to avoid doing so, but the employee isn’t out to get you. Instead, they are only trying to get the monetary amount that will allow them to take care of themselves and their family. The best defense against workers’ comp claims is to have a proactive approach and a safe work environment.

Create a culture of safety at your workplace where everyone watches out for one another, and any hazards are immediately reported. Hold safety meetings on a regular basis where you reward employees for meeting safety goals. Create posters and signage to remind employees of general hazards and make sure all hazardous materials are properly attended to and labeled.

Even if you have all of these processes in place, it is possible that an employee could still get hurt by doing repetitive processes without proper safety precautions. Not lifting heavy items properly, using a computer for long periods of time without proper support, and standing in one place for too long can all result in common injuries ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome to bursitis, which affects the joints.

Keep in mind that not all states cover repetitive motion injuries, so be aware of your state laws when filing. Regardless of the state law, as HR administrators, ensure that all employees are taking their regularly scheduled breaks, sitting in proper chairs that encourage good posture, and are using an ergonomic mouse that reduces the risk of carpal tunnel.

When it comes to the well-being of your employees, extensive knowledge of state laws and policies is a must. Be informed about workers’ compensation, so your employees can get the care they deserve.

5 Things That Produce Customer Loyalty

Every business understands the importance of attracting new customers. You can reach new demographics, grow your business, and see success when you have a marketing plan that attracts people to your goods or services. 

But, there are a few problems with only marketing to new target audiences. Eventually, those audiences will run out or start to dwindle. You’ll run out of people to attract to your business on your own. Furthermore, small businesses don’t typically have the budgets or resources to compete with big businesses when it comes to attracting new customers. 

So, what’s the answer for a business looking to grow and find success? It’s about focusing more on customer loyalty and their experience as well as building onto your business’ foundation, rather than constantly chasing target markets. 

The best businesses know how to treat their customers well and give them the things they want, so they’ll not only keep coming back, but they’ll tell others about the business. There is no better form of advertising than word-of-mouth, and the best way to achieve that is to create a following of happy, loyal customers. 

1. Make it More Than Marketing

A solid marketing plan is important for the growth of any business. Your marketing plan should have achievable goals you can reach quickly, as well as long-term goals. But when you’re trying to appeal to people and promote your brand, it’s about catering to their psychological triggers. 

What does that mean? Instead of creating a marketing plan solely focused on a new product, service, or deal, determine what the people who already love your business really want. Treat your current customers like royalty. Provide them with superior customer support and dedication. It’s easy to create a marketing plan when you’re trying to attract someone new. But, when you’re developing new ideas, don’t ignore the people who have stood by your business for a long time. By including them in your marketing budget, you’ll ensure that they keep coming back to you. 

2. Cover Your Bases

No business is perfect, but the ones who come close tend to cover their bases in every way so they always appear trustworthy and reliable to their customers.

You’ve probably heard about some data breaches and hacks in various companies over the last few years. Hackers are looking for everything from personal information like social security numbers to financial information like credit cards. When they get that kind of info, they can steal identities, spend money, and learn just about everything there is to know about your customers. While bigger companies can sometimes get away with this kind of hit, not every business is so lucky. 

Protecting your customers is crucial, which is why it’s a good idea to have proper storage solutions in place for records and data. Implementing a business record retention program is a great way to have your customers’ important information at your fingertips. A record retention program can keep track of business records, financial records, insurance records, copyrights, and more. It will also help you to determine how long you should hold on to certain documents and when it’s okay to get rid of them via shredding. 

Covering your bases as a business also means preparing for any possible scenario when you’re ready to launch a new product, service, or campaign. No solid company wants to think about all of the things that could potentially go wrong, but the ones that do are prepared and take less of a blow if one ever occurs. Some companies create user experience scenarios when launching a new product, deal, service, etc. This helps them to see what could potentially go wrong, what they could do better, and how people might respond. As a result, they can go back to the drawing board if needed and make sure their loyal customers will be pleased when the final product or idea is eventually rolled out. 

They’ll also be prepared for any potential problems. For example, take a look at Gap. Back in 2008, the clothing company launched a new logo in an effort to be more modern. The logo instantly received an overwhelming amount of backlash, and it only took the company two days to return to its original imagery. 

Of course, it’s important to protect yourself from a legal standpoint, too. Strong companies fully understand the legalities behind the promises they make and the things they offer their customers. It’s important to have a working knowledge of legal terminology and how to understand contracts when you’re in the business world. It will keep you from getting burned, and ensure the promises you make your customers are always kept. 

3. Offer Rewards

Everyone likes to be rewarded. Attracting new customers and audiences with special incentives and deals is great, but don’t forget about your loyal customer base. Creating a customer loyalty program is a great way to get people coming back. 

For some small businesses, a loyalty program can be something as simple as a punch card — buy five coffees and get your sixth one free! After all, customers are 82.4% more likely to shop at a store that has some type of loyalty system in place. 

If you want to go bigger, you can create a “points” system to reward loyal customers. Popular retailers like Old Navy, American Eagle, and Carters have reward point programs. The more customers spend, the more points they receive that can later be turned into discounts or money to spend at the store. This allows your business to keep adding revenue and tips your hat to those who are consistently spending with you. 

4. Take Feedback Seriously

Customers want to feel as though they have a relationship with the businesses they frequent. So, take their feedback seriously, whether it’s positive or negative. Even small businesses will benefit from some kind of customer support team. When a customer feels ignored or that their comments are falling on deaf ears, it never sits well. Even acknowledging what they have to say will make a difference in their overall experience. 

There are tools you can use to stay within your budget and still handle customer feedback with professionalism. There are a variety of resources that are great for offering customer service on virtually every channel possible. 

Getting caught up in the excitement of attracting new people to your business can be fun, but it isn’t a sustainable business plan that will allow you success and growth. Keep your current customer base in mind when it comes to everything you do. The loyalty you show back to them will end up rewarding your business in the long run. 

 

How to Fast Forward your Employee’s Career

Your employees’ professional growth doesn’t happen overnight. Developing people’s skills needs investment of thought, time and love in order to create meaningful change. Ideally a manager becomes a mentor. They provide guidance and coaching to evolve employee skill-sets, knowledge and confidence. With managers acting as the catalyst for progression, we’ve pinpointed five ways to effectively advance your employee’s career path.

Align your business goals

When you’re working closely with your employees, don’t forget to feed back the “bigger picture” to them. You can coach people in leadership qualities all day long but it’s pointless if you’re not communicating why. Employees motivation to excel can diminish if they don’t feel valued or believe they can create an impact for the company. Realistically, how empowered would your employees feel if they’re given the freedom to make smart, informed decisions however they still need to run their ideas by you before making moves? Communicate the objectives and company goals before anything else, and provide freedom for them to actually reach these.

Create a career development plan

Having conversations around career progressions is the first step in gauging employee development, but it’s important to follow up with implementing achievable objectives. This encourages employees to formulate their goals so they can actively execute them. Create a space where you can collaborate openly on short-term and long-term career goals and most importantly how these can be achieved. If you’re not sure where role progression can evolve, check out Search Party’s Career Path Tool to see all possible options.

Articulate expectations

Objectives and Key Results (OKR) is a popular technique to setting and communicating goals and results in organisations. The main purpose for OKRs is to connect the company, team and individual’s personal objectives to measurable results, ensuring everyone is moving in the right direction. The structure is fairly straightforward.

  • Define 3-5 key objectives on company, team or personal levels. These must be qualitative, ambitious and time bound.
  • Under each objective, define 3-4 measurable results based on growth performance, revenue or engagement.

When OKRs are a place and remain transparent across all teams, employees have complete clarity of knowing what’s expected of them and have something to work towards. Defining these can take into account career progressions or onboarding new responsibilities or projects and when you’re able to measure you’re also able to mentor. No wonder OKR’s are loved by tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Oracle. It’s a proven process that genuinely works.

Actively identify new opportunities within the organisation

When employees begin to seek new experiences or want to build their portfolio of skill-sets, 9 times out of 10 they’ll leave their current organisation rather than take on a new role in a different area within their current company. And it’s no surprise that losing talent and re-training new starters is timely and costly for managers. However this behaviour can be avoided if there is real encouragement and facilitation of internal transfers. Speak with the individual about what skills they would like to gain or areas they wish to excel in and then identify all possible new opportunities and paths they can explore within the organisation. Mentors are those who can look beyond their own areas or personal needs for growth opportunities, even if it means they’re losing a great asset.

Encourage developmental assignments

Developmental assignments come from the opportunity to initiate something new that an employee takes the majority of the reigns with. Internal projects, new product lines or championing a change such as adopting new technology or a restructure in workflows are all great ways to allow employees to step outside of their comfort zones. These kind of initiatives are the gateway into harbouring new skill-sets and embracing areas not usual to their daily tasks. Enabling employees to lead or manage side projects or totally new initiatives are the stepping stones into project management fields and opens a huge number of doors into other leadership roles.

Although most CEOs understand the importance of employee development, the sad truth is that they don’t devote the necessary time into excelling them into greater things. But the proof really is in the pudding. The more effort you put into developing employees, the higher the employee retention, productivity, engagement, turnover…the list goes on!

If you’re unsure as to where career progression can take you or your employees, Search Party have developed a nifty Career Path Tool. Simply type in your current role, and see how careers of people who’ve been in your shoes developed. Or, type in your dream job and see which paths can take you there. Check it out and let us know what you think!


Originally published by Search Party on 29 August 2016.

How to Monetize Your Teaching Skills

With the rise of the internet and new technologies, the very process of gaining knowledge has changed. Distance learning has become an effective way not only to learn and master new skills but also to earn a college degree, with many reputable colleges offering online curriculums too. 

In such a supportive environment, the ones with expertise and practical experience in specific fields can find quite a few ways to monetize their teaching skills. So, whether you need some extra money or you want to start a whole new career, here are a few ideas to start with.

Become a teacherpreneur

Some active teachers are mastering their classroom jobs, but are also very passionate about their business and have enough time and motivation to execute their own ideas and create new classroom materials. Such teachers already have a good way to monetize their skills by selling their materials, podcasts and teaching strategies online, and become a teacherpreneur

Create your course

If you’re thinking about following this route of money-making, what matters the most is to create your course with your target audience on your mind, making it’s content useful and relevant so that they would actually want to buy it. 

Your chances to succeed are higher if you’re an authority or an influencer in a certain niche with a large follower base on Facebook, Youtube or other social media channels. To make your course competitive, choose a narrow topic so that you can both teach essentials and give enough practical tips and tricks, adding the unique value to your classes.

Write an e-book

Another way to monetize your teaching skills is by making an e-book and selling it online. Still, besides your expertise, you’ll need good writing skills and some knowledge of how to best structure your book. Your e-book will have more downloads and purchases if you’re already digitally established persona and have a wide network of potential buyers. Even then, your e-book would need some additional marketing strategies, so think about what techniques you could use to promote it.

Give classes

For those who live in an area where there is a high demand for skills you would be teaching, giving live classes is one of the sure ways to monetize their teaching skills. Nothing can beat the quality of face-to-face lectures, whether they are group or individual. There are also plenty of opportunities to find your students online, and give classes using Zoom or Skype to connect. You can lecture on every topic you have an expertise in,  but it’s important that you’re program is flexible and accessible for students of all levels. 

As there is a great demand for English language teachers worldwide, this is a great opportunity for those who want to both work and travel. Even if English is not your native language, you can take the TEFL Course at Monkey Tree English learning center and become a certified English teacher, and find a job at the destination of your choice or give lessons online.

Offer consulting and professional services

A great way to monetize your teaching skills is to offer consulting and professional services to individuals or organizations who are facing issues you can help them solve. Consulting services can be offered in many fields, such as research, communications, curriculum design, management or any other industry-specific matters. Professional services may include legal and financial services, translation, writing, research, etc. You can bill these services by the hour or choose a flat rate for an entire project.

Make a niche blog or a website

If you’re more inclined to doing business digitally, starting your own niche blog or a website can be one of the ways to make money teaching what you know. You can create all sorts of high-quality content related to your niche, and make it diverse using photos, infographics, and videos. Still, you’ll need to SEO your content in order to make it visible to your target audience and promote it on your social media channels, if you want to boost your traffic. You can use affiliate links or place ads on your blog to monetize your efforts. 

There are plenty of options to monetize your teaching skills, so start brainstorming your ideas and put them in action. 

New ServiceNow Research Highlights What Employees Really Want

Perks at work have become a source of pride and a competitive differentiator for companies vying for top talent. Stocked fridges, catered meals, on‑site fitness facilities, laundry services and complimentary transportation are just a handful of popular perks companies offer to lure new employees. But according to new research by ServiceNow, an effective way to build an engaged and productive workforce is giving employees a better employee service experience during big moments and even small ones in between.

ServiceNow’s “The Employee Experience Imperative” Report, which studies the service experience at work, reveals that employee enthusiasm for work peaks at the start of a new job, but wanes by 22% shortly thereafter. Where are employers missing the mark? The findings tell us that employers aren’t supporting employee’s basic needs on a day‑to‑day basis during the employee lifecycle: 41% still struggle to obtain information and answers to basic questions, like finding a company policy or resolving an issue with their equipment. Furthermore, only 41% believe their employers make it easy to select their equipment before their first day and only 51% of employees believe their employers make it easy to receive equipment necessary to perform their job responsibilities at the onset of their job.

Employees today – regardless of their role or generation – want to be heard and valued, and they want an employee experience that suits their needs throughout their career with an organization,” said Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer at ServiceNow. “If an employee’s experience is lacking at the onset of their new job, the impact for some employees can likely be felt until the employee’s last day. By creating beautiful and meaningful experiences and an environment where work gets done efficiently, employers will benefit from a more engaged and productive workforce.”

Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer, ServiceNow
Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer at ServiceNow

Where Can Employers Improve? Mobile Work Experiences

One‑third of our lives is spent at work. And, employees want their experiences at work to be more like their experiences at home – like having mobile technology at their fingertips to make finding information and accomplishing tasks simple, easy and convenient. In fact, more than half (54%) of employees expect their employers to offer mobile‑optimized tools at work. Yet, the majority (67%) report not finding it easy to complete necessary paperwork on a mobile device before their first day and only about half (52%) of employees have been allowed to use a smartphone or tablet to access employee tools from HR or other departments. However, those who do have such access self‑report higher productivity than those without these mobility tools. This is a miss for employers who haven’t yet introduced mobile self‑service to their workforce, especially for those aiming to retain and attract millennials, as over half (59%) expect employers to provide mobile‑optimized tools.

A Generation Gap? It’s Smaller at Work Than You’d Think

Baby boomers and millennials aren’t so different at work, after all. Across the four generations that comprise today’s workforce – baby boomers, Gen‑Zs, millennials and Gen‑Xs – employees want a better experience at work. The research found that, across generations and departments, employees are losing faith in their employers to deliver positive employee experiences:

  • Less than half (48%) of employees believe that employers are invested in improving the employee experience;
  • More than half (61%) of employees rate their employers poorly based on a negative experience with personal leave;
  • Less than half (45%) of employees feel that their opinions and perspective matter to their employer. However, millennials (43%) are more optimistic that employers will address feedback when compared to baby boomers (35%);
  • Only 37% of employees believe that employers automate processes to improve the worker experience; and
  • Less than half (44%) of employees believe employers provide them with easy access to information from HR and other departments; the same number felt they did not have access to the information vital to their job on day one.

A positive experience at work strongly correlates high employee net promoter scores (eNPS)– meaning, employees that create great employee experiences are likely to have more loyal, satisfied employees. That’s real business value.

7 Significant Things that Every Web Designer Should Know 

Well, staring with the primary concept that is web design, then it is the most important aspect to understand properly as to get good results in SEO. Here in the post, you are going to meet with all the essential things and aspects that help you in doing web design properly and also make you able to get good results through it. Dealing with the website design process is daunting in thee staring, but after than, once you understand every single aspect that relates to it, then it becomes easier for you to understand.

Therefore, it is essential for you to know everything about the process of web design and then start dealing with it does it properly. Now, here in the post, you are going to meet with some major things that play an important role in web designing. All users or web designers need to make an appropriate deal with these things as to perform web designing at a good level. Finally, all those main things that help you out in the process of web designing are as follows –

  1. Know the exact purpose – it means that the first thing you have to know is that why you require a website. After then, what goals you are going to achieve? Who you target your site’s traffic? So, the answers to these questions automatically make your design and create the right content for your site. The same things help you in knowing that what exactly your traffic want from your website and how you achieve your all goals.
  2. Select the right domain – it is the most important concept among all when it comes to website design. You have to choose a unique, simple, and short domain name by which your site is known by the users. In other words, you have to give that name to the site which is easy to remember and memorable. Also, you to consider that only a simple and easy domain is good which users easily type and reach. If you think that that the domain name contains hyphens and numbers, then you totally thinking wrong. You have to choose that word which directly reflects your business and target area.
  3. Go with the right web host – well, you should know that when going to host a company understating all your hosting requirements is essential for you. The first thing which you have to think is that what kind of website you actually want to host. The same website requires special software or not, the volume of audience you need, and many more things that relate to it. So, after considering all these things, you have to choose the best server and make everything easy to control. Not only is this, but you also have to provide a 24/7 customer support and a live support option for the immediate help to your site visitors and also to provide them with appropriate advice. Regarding the same aspect, you can also know more by taking the help of website development in New York
  4. Be responsive – it means that you have to make your website responsive enough, and in that way, which easily supports and run in all devices. Not only is this, the site you are going to create must be mobile-friendly and also it easily fit into the screen of all devices. You have to do web designing in that way by which your site become more attractive and responsive to your visitors, and they find it helpful than all others. It is the only way to make those visitors your permanent users and as a result, improvement in the site’s ranking.
  5. Great content – now, it’s the major aspect as well among all which are mentioned above. You have to fix the same thing in mind that only a good and appropriate or you can say informative content is the key to get more traffic to your website. If you want to keep a good quality of your website, then you have to pay good attention to the content you are posting. So, you have to post that content on your website which is in more demand by the people and which looks informative to them. Not only the content; you must also add some good images and videos as well in the content to make it attractive and impressive. Also, by doing so, visitors get the information, not by reading but also practically as well.
  6. Add links – Another fine thing which you have to present in your mind is that you have to add good and relevant links to your website. It is because by doing so, all your visitors become able to know more about the concept they need to know. So, if they make use of the links you are provided to them in your content and they find those links useful, then it helps you in many ways. After then your visitors find your website useful, and they become permanent to it. Not only is this, but they also share your website with other people, and as a result, it is enhancing the ranking in SEO.
  7. Layout – also, it is the major thing you have to know properly. The layout of your website matters a lot. You have to make your website attractive and impressive enough so that more and more traffic got attracted to it. Therefore, to make a perfect layout, you have to make proper combinations of the colors, you have to set everything in your site in a proper format and do all essential things properly.

So, these are the significant 7 things that every web designer should keep in mind when going to make a deal with the web designing process.

Conclusion

Therefore, it is important for you to understand the above-mentioned information and then apply all these things in the web design process to get good results. These things help you in doing web design at a great level, and your site becomes more used by the people and improves rankings easily.

How to Build a Stellar Brand and Rock the Social Media Ecosystem

In a vast and diverse online landscape, there are many channels and tools to explore. In the midst of all the digital hustle and bustle, major social platforms stand as real giants. From their shoulders, brands can extend their reach and make their messages resonate with a global audience.

Indeed, many businesses have managed to work miracles with their social media accounts. They became globally recognizable and have enhanced their bottom line in the process. But, make no mistake that this is a huge endeavor. Namely, one has to find a way to form a killer strategy and execute it in order to stand out among cohorts of competitive brands.

A tumultuous social age

Social media platforms are a next big business frontier. Consumers flock there to casually share and comment, but also interact with brands and get to know their human face. This creates immense opportunities to engage and delight. Of course, making it happen is much easier said than done. It requires a rock-solid strategy and a long-term commitment.

One of the first things to figure out is which network to pick as a distribution channel. You might want to use more than one but bear in mind that spreading yourself too thin is not the best idea, especially if you’re working with limited resources. The basic rule is simple: You have to be present on hubs that your target audience frequents.

An angle of approach

A thorough research is the cornerstone of your branding strategy. It allows you to tell in advance, with relative certainty, whether your campaigns will hit the mark or not. Just be aware that adults aged 18-34 are the most likely to follow a brand via social media (96%). So, if you cater to the older population, you might want to think twice before investing in branding there.

In general, networks with the largest user base (like Facebook and Twitter) offer an unparalleled reach and should be considered first. Then again, there are some niche platforms that could make sense in terms of what you do and industry sector you operate in. Likewise, image-heavy networks such as Pinterest and Instagram are a great marketing landscape to dispense your product photos and other visual assets.

Name of the social game

In any event, once you weigh all the pros and cons and identify the best channel, come up with a game plan on how to engage the audience there. To get inspired, you can take lessons from some of the best thought-out campaigns out there. They all have something in common: a deep understanding that modern businesses must add value to the lives of the customers.

Moreover, established brands are well aware that social media profiles pose powerful customer service tools. They provide around-the-clock support and display impressive responsiveness. Also, they keep up to date with prominent trends such as the surge in mobile usage. There were 2.56 billion of global social media users who accessed those networks via mobile devices in 2017. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to tailor the experience to their wants and needs.

Coming on top

There are some other trends that enable your brand to get into the limelight. Visual content reigns supreme: it is 40 times more likely to be shared than other types of content. So, ramp up your image and video production capacities. A good example is to use mockups for your brand content as quality content is an integral part of all good campaigns. Just make sure to produce a regular stream of it in accordance with your content calendar.

Furthermore, note that, although people discuss brands quite a lot, 96% of users does not actually follow brand-owned accounts. This is to say that businesses have to get creative and navigate around the distrust or weariness that users tend to exhibit towards businesses. The trick is to look beyond your corporate channels and launch campaigns that deviate from the traditional advertising logic.

Stay vigilant

Next, let us address one thing that often gets overlooked: keeping track of key performance indicators is vital. In other words, implement a robust social media monitoring strategy. Monitor non-branded conversations for brand mentions. Evaluate your engagement rates and how many social signals you generate. Actively manage brand health at all times. Stay flexible and adjust your strategy should it fail to bear fruit.

This may seem like a daunting task, but rest assured that social media branding pays rich dividends in the long run.

Around 71% of customers who have had a positive experience with a brand recommends it to others. Hence, you have a chance to make the most of word-of-mouth promotion and spread awareness far and wide.  Finally, remember that social signals, although not an official ranking factor, do affect your position in the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Polishing the competitive edge

Social media networks are major public arenas for brand-building. Before diving in, you need to test the digital waters and use acquired insights to create targeted campaigns.

Create a branded environment where customers feel appreciated and valued. Keep an eye on trends to stay on top of the game. Learn how to tell an engaging story and social media user people in. This should enable you to build lasting foundations of trust with your existing customers and win new people over at the same time.

Carry out branding with the maximum marketing impact: Get the word out there and cut through the marketing noise like a knife through hot butter.